Advent is upon us, the family gatherings have begun, and the busy season is in full swing! But I am SO excited about what God is doing in our church and in our lives.
Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year. You have an opportunity to see people that you may not get to see very often and you have the opportunity to give. I think many would agree that giving can be a gift in and of itself. This time of year is just filled with so many blessings and they can come at any moment from any place! I would encourage you to keep your eyes open and watch for the different ways that God might be blessing you.
While this is a time of year for many people, please remember that the holiday season can be a difficult time of year for many. Grief can also be a very common emotion felt during the holidays. This may be the first time someone has gone through Thanksgiving or Christmas since the passing of a loved one, and it is our job to hold each other up and encourage each other through what might be difficult times.
For those who have lost loved ones this year: we want to honor your friends and family that have passed. It is for that reason that we will be hosting a memorial candlelight service at the end of the year. Our December 30th worship service, at 10 a.m., will be devoted to this occasion. If you know a name of someone you would like honored, please contact the church or Julie Slusarski. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a name as well, but please label the email so our secretary will know what it is for.
After the beginning of the year, we will be starting up some new programming. We have a new team devoted to outreach in our small town of Ransom, IL. Included in the newsletter is a list of dates and activities for 2019. We hope that we not only see you at these events, but that you can use these activities as a way to invite people into our faith community in a way that doesn't require them to come their first time for a "church service." That can be initimidating for some.
Thank you for all of the ideas and encouragements that were sent to us when we requested help with programming ideas!
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Jonathan Wisdom is the pastor at the United Methodist Church in Ransom, IL.